Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Information overload

Reason Magazine sent me an issue a few years ago with a familiar cover.  The cover was a custom cover that was a satellite rendering of my home.  Every subscriber got a different cover with their own home/neighborhood on the cover.  The theme of the issue was the use of public information and how they used it to make a custom cover for their subscribers.  The cover was made simply by cross-referencing different databases with the information I voluntarily gave them (home address).  Genius!

The funny thing now is that we live in an age where privacy is a huge issue but also where many people engage in voluntary self-surveillance.  Through Internet communities like Twitter and Facebook people let their family, friends, and co-workers know what they're thinking, doing or planning at any moment.  I can imagine that a lazy private investigator only needs to become "friends" with the person they're watching and just wait for the information to come rolling in.

This evening some of my friends are doing these kind of things:

  • ...just survived a car accident...
  • ...drowning kittens.
  • ...heading out to pick up some stuff...
  • ...giving child a bath
  • ...walking to the grocery store
  • ...watching a movie On Demand!

Perhaps the issue of privacy is best handled with information overload in the information age.  So much voluntary information that what you're really doing is lost in all of the white noise.

4 comments:

Gino said...

with naked cell phone pictures, twitter,facebook, myspace, and a host of other 'look @ me' technology eagerly sucked up by the masses, mainly the newer generations, i dont think privacy is an issue at all.

it would be nice if modesty was,though.

Gino said...

oh, and please forward the contact info for your friend who is drowning kittens.
he and i need to, um... talk.

Ronald said...

Ronald is reading Tracy's blog.

berburbaby said...

I should start making my status what people around me are doing:

"Berburbaby's coworker is hogging on a cookie from Specialty's and her former co-worker is jealous."